About 'Ahahui O Hawai'i

'Ahahui O Hawai'i (aka the Hui)

'Ahahui O Hawai'i (aka the Hui) is the Native Hawaiian Law Student Organization at the William S. Richardson School of Law. The Hui, founded in 1973, is the oldest student organization at the Law School. The Hui raises significant issues of concern to Native Hawaiians at the Law School and in the community.

The Hui's mission is "to accept and fulfill our kuleana by providing a safe and respectful forum to discuss issues from a Hawaiian perspective in a way that is pono.

In 2004, the Hui had its first "'Ahahui O Hawai'i Kūkākūkā: Perspectives on Federal Recognition." Over 20 speakers - mostly Native Hawaiians and a few non-natives - scholars, community leaders, and experts on sovereignty, self-determination, and nationhood, shared both the pros and cons of federal recognition. Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chairwoman, Haunani Apoliona, was featured on a panel and OHA Administrator Clyde Namu'o also attended. The purpose of the conference was to allow open-minded people to gain a well-rounded understanding of some of the major issues that federal recognition raises.

In October 2005, the Hui, with the Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law, co-sponsored the "Indigenous Traditional and Customary Rights in Modern Legal Systems Symposium. Keynote speakers for the symposium included Victoria Holt-Takamine; Kumu Hula, Heather Kendall-Miller; Native American Rights Fund Anchorage, the Honorable Robert Klein; Hawai'i Supreme Court Justice (ret.), and Chief Judge Joe Williams; Waitangi Tribunal. In addition to the keynote speakers, we also had discussion panels consisting of attorneys and Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners. This symposium was well attended by Native Hawaiians, law students, lawyers etc. As can be inferred by the title of the symposium, the main topic of discussion was the preservation of traditional and customary rights with the primary focus on Native Hawaiian rights.

Also in October 2005, 'Ahahui O Hawai'i received approval from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for grant money ($ 29, 065.00) to provide Law School Admissions Test preparation to Native Hawaiian applicants to law school and tutoring services to currently enrolled Native Hawaiian students.

In October 2007, 'Ahahui O Hawai'i received a $2,500 grant from the Student Equity, Excellence and Diversity office (aka S.E.E.D.) to support its LSAT Preparation class.

In November 2007, 'Ahahui O Hawai'i was awarded a $49,003 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to provide LSAT preparation classes to Native Hawaiian applicants to law school. The funding provides for other support services to Native Hawaiian law students at the William S. Richardson School of Law.

In February 2008, 'Ahahui O Hawai'i started a 6-week program with high school students at the Hawaiian language immersion school Kula Kaiapuni o 'Anuenue. Hui members developed a 6-week curriculum with the Social Studies students of Kumu Keao Kamalani. Over the course of the six weeks, the high school students came to the law school and sat in on a discussion with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Other components of the curriculum covered: Hawaiian language and the law, water rights, land issues, burial issues, and Native Hawaiian governance.